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BELGIUM


Location - Western Europe; Capital - Brussels; Population - 11 million; Currency - Euro MORE BELGIUM

A weekend trip to the Sand Wonderland festival took me along the Belgian coast in July 2013.

 

euroBelgium is part of the Euro Zone

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

belgium413Beach clubs run side-by-side along the Belgian coast at Blankenberge

 

belgium408Beach huts seem to be all the rage in Belgium, pictured here with the pier as a backdrop - Blankenberge

 

 

belgium418 The town is a bit of a concrete monstrosity but the sand is very inviting on a sunny day - Blankenberge

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

belgium425I love the chilled feel of the Tao Bar with its massive beanbags and ambient music - Blankenberge

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

belgium431If you've been to Prague you'll likely have come across David Cerny's babies, and here they go crawling over Blankenberge's casino

 

belgium232The King (Elvis Presley that is) welcomes visitors to Sand Wonderland in Blankenberge

 

belgium236 Sitting next to his mate Elvis is US President Abraham Lincoln - Blankenberge

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

belgium255The Rolling Stones' Mick Jagger and Keith Richards - Blankenberge

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

belgium298Most sculptures are housed in a huge marquee with a privileged few outdoors. Over 40 artists from around the world contribute to an annually changing theme. The detail on most of them is superb - Blankenberge

 

 

belgium249Sand Wonderland runs from mid-June to mid-September every year in a rather rundown and messy park. In 2013 the theme was 'Artworks, Inventions, Historical Events, Personalities and Popular Scenes' - Blankenberge

 

belgium265Ringo, George, John and Paul, aka The Beatles - Blankenberge

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

belgium267Barack Obama looking a bit trapped, in front of the White House - Blankenberge

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

belgium272An Egyptian pharaoh, and King Kong holds on tightly to the Empire State Building - Blankenberge

 

belgium284I didn't recognise either Rihanna or Madonna - Blankenberge

 

belgium287A fantastic one of Jimi Hendrix - Blankenberge

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

belgium317Arnold Schwarzenegger as the Terminator - Blankenberge

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

belgium320Pope Francis - Blankenberge

 

 

belgium322Infamous American gangster Al Capone - Blankenberge

 

 

belgium333I much prefer the huge outdoor sculptures - Blankenberge

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

belgium340A scene from Hollywood blockbuster Avatar - Blankenberge

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

belgium353Frankenstein and his castle stand above, erm.. a werewolf? Blankenberge

 

 

belgium345Frankenstein and his castle look brilliant - Blankenberge

 

 

belgium360aI asked these artists who this was going to be but they didn't want to spoil the surprise - Blankenberge

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

belgium346Count Dracula with a female conquest - Blankenberge

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

belgium348Dracula's woman - Blankenberge

 

 

belgium364The Black Pearl, surrounded by the cast, was another very impressive model - Blankenberge

 

belgium371Pirates of the Caribbean characters Davy Jones and Hector Barbossa - Blankenberge

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

belgium375Captain Jack Sparrow and the Black Pearl - Blankenberge

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

belgium377Waves bash against Noah's Ark - Blankenberge

 

belgium383Admire the sculpted lines - Blankenberge

 

 

belgium388The Chronicles of Narnia - Blankenberge

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

belgium400Alfred Hitchcock glimpses at the birds and the pyscho house - Blankenberge

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

belgium382The sculptures are sprayed with water to retain their moisture - Blankenberge

 

 

belgium227Fireworks mark a Flanders holiday - Blankenberge

 

belgium441 Beach huts beaneath the Thermae Palace Hotel - Ostend

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

belgium447 The 1930s Mercator, in the old harbour, is now a museum piece - Ostend

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

belgium450Boats moored in the old harbour at Ostend

 

belgium460The early 20th century St Petrus & Pauluskerk - Ostend

 

belgium463Some very imaginative and colourful bars between the old harbour and the church - Ostend

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

belgium464Chef checks out the scene - Ostend

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

belgium468I passed through Bruges on my way to Damme

 

belgium468aThe towering Belfort (belfry) dominates the Markt - Bruges

 

 

belgium468bGabled buildings, mostly restaurants, line the north side of the Markt - Bruges

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

belgium471Take a bike ride along the canals on the way to Damme and you'll pass several windmills - Bruges

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

belgium472None of these windmills were in operation though maybe they get cranked up at some point in the year - Bruges

 

 

belgium475Damme is about 5km from Bruges on an arrow-straight tree-lined canal

 

belgium476Fishing along the canal near Damme

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

belgium482A paddle steamer also provides an enjoyable way to get to Damme

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

belgium491The stadhuis forms the centre of Damme

 

belgium489The central square is surrounded by bars and restaurants - Damme

 

belgium492The Onze Lieve Vrouwekerk - Damme

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

belgium498Cycling down a road lined with poplar trees at Damme

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

belgium501Make your way just outside Damme and there seems to be canals everywhere

 

belgium479Unlike the ones in Bruges this windmill was in (full?) working order - Damme

 

belgium504A couple of kms north of Bruges is the moated Kasteel ten Berghe - Bruges

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

belgium515Lissewege is on the train line from Bruges to Zeebrugge

 

belgium510The main church at Lissewege

 

 

belgium517The village is only 4km from Zeebrugge and is known for its artistic bent and whitewashed buildings - Lissewege

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

belgium522It's worth a few hours if on the way to the coast from Bruges - Lissewege

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

belgium521Eeurgh! Art in the village of Lissewege

 

belgium527The industrial port city of Zeebrugge

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

belgium531The 21st century version of the windmill - Zeebrugge

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

belgium539Several powergliders swooped up and down, sliding across the beach at Zeebrugge

 

 

belgium536I've no idea if 'powerglider' is a proper term but these came with motorised fans on the back - Zeebrugge

 

 

belgium540After a few kms walk from Zeebrugge the pier at Blankenberge appears

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

belgium541Between Blankenberge and Ostend is the pretty seaside resort of de Haan

 

belgium542The beach stretches out to the North Sea at de Haan

 

belgium544Beaches all along the Belgian coast are very wide so there should be plenty of room on a sunny day - de Haan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

belgium543The seafront at de Haan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Website and content Copyright © 2008-2014 Mark Wilkinson. All rights reserved.

 

LINKS

www.visitbelgium.com - the Belgian tourist office

www.delijn.be - the coastal tram

www.visitflanders.com - visit Flanders

www.visitoostende.be - visit Ostend

www.eurostar.com - Eurostar train from London to Paris, Brussels and more

 

I am not responsible for the content of external websites.

 

 
 
 
   
 
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